How to Tell Your Family You’re Getting a Divorce in New York

Ending a marriage takes an emotional toll on spouses who must address New York divorce laws on alimony, division of marital property, and issues related to minor children. However, beyond the legal process, there is also the matter of telling your loved ones about your decision to divorce. On the one hand, you need the support of your family more than ever during this transition in your life; on the other you do not want to create undue stress for yourself or others as you go through the process. Every case is different and you may want to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer about your situation, but a few tips on how to break the news to your family may help.

Breaking the News to Family

Divorce is more than just an end to a couple’s marriage; it can affect relationships with entire families. Marriage exists within the familial community, so it will be necessary to share the news of your divorce with your loved ones. Your closest family members may be concerned about having to take sides or wonder about future contact with your soon-to-be ex, so telling them about divorce requires a thoughtful approach. Consider:

  • Collaborating with your spouse on which family members you will tell and how to broach the subject;
  • Practicing what you want to say so you can convey your position with confidence;
  • Discouraging people from taking sides; and,
  • Letting your family know that you look forward to their support.

Telling Children About Your Divorce

There are many variables involved when it comes time to tell your children about your divorce, but age is a key factor. A child’s social and emotional development should also guide you in deciding how to explain the situation. Younger children will have questions about how your divorce will affect today and tomorrow; it is best to give them simple information that tells them they will be safe and that their needs will be met. When you tell older kids, be prepared for a range of emotions and work with your spouse to present a united front.

No matter what their age, make sure you stress that you still love them, their living arrangements are secure, and that no one is to blame for the divorce.

General Tips to Bear in Mind

As you are considering the people you will tell, when, and how, a few additional suggestions may be helpful:

  • Keep the right people informed about the proceedings;
  • Reach out for help if you need it from your support network;
  • Listen and respond to appropriate questions; and,
  • Steer clear of disparaging comments, insults, or accusations about your spouse.

Trust a Skilled Saratoga County Family Lawyer With Your Divorce Case

Your relationships with your children and family members are important, so it is understandable that you have questions on how to tell them about your divorce. Our lawyers at The Colwell Law Group can offer additional support in all areas of a New York divorce, so contact us to schedule a consultation about your case. 

Divorce in New York How to Cope With Divorce Albany NY LawyerExplaining Divorce to Your Kids

Divorce is a complicated and stressful situation for any couple to go through. If children are involved, the process is even more emotional. Children—especially babies, toddlers and preschoolers—often don’t understand all that is involved in a divorce. They may be scared that their parents don’t love them anymore. They may feel unsafe having to split their time between two houses.

It’s important that parents take the time to explain things to their children, no matter how old they are. It’s often easier with older children, since they may have had a feeling for quite some time that their parents have not been getting along. Plus, they may have friends whose parents are divorced.

Having a conversation with your children about divorce will likely be one of the most difficult conversations you’ve ever had. However, it’s one that cannot be ignored, especially if you care about your child’s mental and emotional well-being. A divorce can be a big change, but with help from both parents, children can recover and get through this difficult time.

Give Notice

You shouldn’t make the announcement and then have one parent leave the next day. Give at least two weeks’ notice so that the kids can take everything in and process how the divorce will affect their lives.

Make the Announcement Together

Even though this is a time when you and your spouse are going your separate ways, act like adults and get together one last time to make the announcement to the kids. Even if one parent does all the talking, having a united front will help smooth things over.

Be Honest But Avoid Details

Try to be blunt and to the point, but expect that the children will ask questions. Do not give details about why the marriage is ending. This is not the time to discuss your husband’s infidelity or your wife’s alcohol addiction. You may simply say that you two cannot get along anymore or no longer love each other, and leave it at that. The focus is on the upcoming changes, not the reason for them.

Reassure Children That They Are Not to Blame

Children often think that they are the cause of a divorce. They may think that if they behaved better, the divorce would not happen. Reassure them that they are not the cause for the split and that they cannot fix the situation.

Show the Love

Reassure children that both parents still love them, even though they will be living in separate homes. Even though the parents no longer love each other, the love for the children has not changed.

Tell Children What to Expect

Children thrive on routine, so avoid surprises. Let them know in advance where they will be going and for how long.  Create a schedule together. If things change, let them know right away. At this point, children need stability, so provide it for them as much as possible.

Talk Often

Ask children how they are doing. Ask them about their feelings. Let them know it is OK for them to open up and express their feelings.

Get Help With Your Divorce by Contacting Our Saratoga County Child Custody Lawyers

No child wants to see their parents split up, but sometimes couples have issues and struggle to get along. It’s better to have both parents happy but living apart than to have children live in the same home with two miserable parents.

At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, our divorce lawyers will keep your best interests in mind during your divorce and help you and your partner agree on child custody and support issues. If you’re ready to file for divorce, contact our team today. Get started with a no risk consultation.

Mindful Parenting Can Help the Kids

When going through a divorce, it can be really easy to get caught up in all of the emotions and stress that come with ending a marriage. And, while the process is tough on the divorcing spouses, it can be doubly so for children.

How Mindful Parenting Can Help

During the divorce process, it is more important than ever for parents to be mindful and present when interacting with their children. Mindful.org offers some tips for parents to practice mindful parenting during divorce, including:

  • Practice self-care. By taking care of yourself, you will be better able to care for your children through the transition of divorce.
  • Be OK with being emotional. It’s OK to be human, and to express emotion around your kids. This helps them understand that the things they are feeling are normal and OK, which will help them process their own emotions.
  • Let your children grieve and listen to them. Understand that divorce can cause grief-like symptoms in children; in some cases, it means changing homes and schools and it usually means a changed relationship with both parents. Let them express their feelings and really listen so you can help each other heal.
  • Avoid being negative about your spouse. It can be easy to find yourself thinking and talking negatively about your child’s other parent during a divorce. There are reasons you decided to get divorced in the first place and, unfortunately, those reasons can easily bubble up into negativity. While you may feel angry or hurt by your spouse’s actions, talking negatively about him or her around your children can cause real damage to their relationship with their other parent.
  • Find outlets for your children. Your kids may need someone besides you to talk to, to help them through the divorce. Let them know that it’s OK for them to talk to others as needed.

Contact an Albany Child Custody Attorney

While the divorce process may be difficult for all of you, know that it represents a new beginning for all of you. By being mindful and present for your children, you will be able to help each other navigate the unfamiliar landscape, together.

How Does Divorce Affects Small Children and What You Can Do About It

A 2017 study from Carnegie Mellon University found an interesting long-term effect on children of divorced parents. According to the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, children of divorced parents are more likely to catch colds as adults.

At first sight, the scientific value of this discovery seems rather minimal. Yet, as the authors explain, not all adult children of divorced or separated parents are more susceptible to the common cold. Rather: “Adults whose parents separated and did not speak to each other during childhood were more than three times as likely to develop a cold following viral exposure.”

In other words, the circumstances surrounding the divorce and its aftermath have been found to be more important than the separation itself. The reason to mention this nuance here is because the scientific consensus on the emotional, psychological and physical effects of divorce on small children is grim, but not all bad. As we’ll see, how a child responds to divorce depends heavily on how the parents respond. Let’s look first at what the science says.

Emotional Effects

Scientific studies mostly have found that small children whose parents have divorced experience feelings of guilt, anxiety and low-esteem immediately following the separation. Writing in Psychology Today, Carl Pickhardt, PhD., says that for young children, divorce tends to intensify the child’s dependency on one of the parents, compared to an adolescent child who will turn away from the parents. “There can be separation anxieties, crying at bed times, breaking toilet training, bed-wetting, clinging, whining, tantrums, and temporary loss of established self-care skills, all of which can compel parental attention,” he writes.

At the same time, a 2014 analysis of several studies also found that “that many of the child problems typically associated with divorce are present years before the divorce occurs…Thus, many of the negative outcomes attributed to divorce in cross-sectional studies appear to be due to troubled family relationships (e.g., high levels of marital conflict or ineffective parenting) that precede marital disruption rather than to separation itself.”

Academic Effects

A 2011 study from the American Sociological Review followed 3,500 children of divorced parents between kindergarten and fifth grade (roughly, ages 5 to 10). The study found that the children experienced setbacks in certain academic fields, such as math, compared to their peers whose parents were married. However, the divorce didn’t seem to affect the children in other areas, like reading.

An older study from 1991 found that children of divorced parents showed “significant performance deficits in academic achievement,” and that “parental divorce can be a critical event in the academic development of children.” However, over time, the researchers discovered that a majority of children of divorced parents exhibited academic careers “not unlike that” of non-divorced students.

Long-Term Effects?

While divorce will affect a child of any age in negative ways, studies have found that, at least with younger children, many “bounce back” relatively quickly. A 2013 Scientific American article reported on research that has shown that while many children experience immediate feelings of anger, anxiety, and disbelief, “these reactions typically diminish or disappear by the end of the second year.”

A different study that followed children through childhood, adolescents and their teenage years also found that the negative effects on academic performance, behavioral problems and social relationships that appeared immediately after the divorce seemed to improve with time. “On average, the studies found only very small differences on all these measures between children of divorced parents and those from intact families,” reports SA.

The Parents’ Role

University of Virginia Professor Robert E. Emery, author of several books, including “The Truth About Children and Divorce”, says this: “the great majority of children whose parents divorce do not develop … serious behavioral or emotional problems.” The key, he says, is that parents play the most important role in whether their child(ren) will experience long-lasting effects from the divorce. As the study on the prevalence among adult children of divorced parents catching the common cold indicates, the defining factor isn’t the divorce itself, but how the parents handled the divorce in front of them.

Parents should avoid conflict in front of the children, who otherwise might view arguing or violence as their fault. Parents should also encourage the children to maintain a close connection with the other, as opposed to bad-mouthing each other in front of the children.

This isn’t to suggest that divorcing parents should avoid confronting hard truths about the permanence of the divorce with their child(ren). In fact, Pickhardt writes that “parents who put in a joint presence at special family celebrations and holiday events to recreate family closeness for the child only feed the child’s fantasy [of reunification] and delay his adjustment.”

Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer in Saratoga County, NY

While we must acknowledge the short-term negative effects of divorce on small children, we should also remember that they are neither inevitable nor permanent. Divorce is a painful experience for the entire family, but often it is the right choice for everyone. If you’re ready to begin your divorce process, contact the family law attorneys at the Colwell Law Group today.

Divorce in New York How to Cope With Divorce Albany NY LawyerActivities for Kids of Divorce

Let’s face it: divorce can be confusing enough for adults, let alone children. Children who are used to living in a home with two parents will be confused to find out one day that the parents are splitting up and the child will start living in not one, but two homes.

Splitting time between two homes will be different for children. They may not know where they are going from one day to the next. They may feel as though they are being abandoned by their parents. They may think their parents don’t love them anymore. If they are in school, their grades may suffer.

Children may keep their emotions hidden. As a parent, it is up to you to help your child become comfortable again and adjust to their new life. Here are some activities that will help your kids open up and express their feelings so they can begin the healing process.

Art Therapy

A good way to get your child to express his or her feelings about the divorce is to use art. Gather some paper, markers and colored pencils and let your child go at it. Give him or her a prompt, like what divorce means or what wish he or she would like to have granted. Just don’t tell your child exactly what to draw. No matter what your child draws, be supportive of his or her feelings. After all, you can’t tell your child how and what to feel.

Read or Write a Story

Sometimes a book geared toward divorce and children can help your child understand what’s going on. There are many good books to read to your children. Dinosaurs Divorce is a picture book geared toward those under age 7. The book explores what happens during and after divorce by using a dinosaur family as an example. For older girls, A Smart Girl’s Guide to Her Parent’s Divorce may be helpful. This book covers the split to remarriage. It includes advice and quizzes.

If your child is creative, have him or her write their own story. Ask them to write about what they are feeling or what they expect to happen after a divorce.

Role Play

Role play can also be helpful for a confused child. Switch roles and have your child be the parent while you play the role of the child. Have your child act out different situations that he or she may experience with the divorce. Try to make the interactions positive in nature. This can help you both understand each other’s perspective and you’ll get a better idea of the emotions your child is dealing with.

Contact a Schenectady County Child Custody Lawyer Today

Divorcing with children can be very stressful. Kids of divorce are often unable to understand the situation and end up stressed, angry and confused. The experienced family law attorneys from The Colwell Law Group can help your children during this difficult time by finding ways to cope and suggesting activities that are fun for kids. Contact us today.

Activities to Help Cope with Divorce

Much of the focus after a divorce is on how to help kids cope when the divorce, but adults need help coping as well. A divorce is just as hard on the husband and wife. After all, they made the decision to share a life together, and unfortunately, they did not live happily ever after.

Many people deal with a divorce by feeling sorry for themselves. While it’s perfectly normal to experience some degree of sadness and anger, there comes a point when it’s time to move on. It’s time to start enjoying your new but different lifestyle. It’s time to shake things up and focus on the things you enjoy for once.

While it’s okay to act like a homebody from time to time, getting out and doing things helps take your mind off the divorce. Plus, you may meet people who have been through a divorce and can guide you through this difficult. Are you ready to try something new? The following includes a few fun activities to try in New York.

Wine Tasting

If you like to drink, wine tasting and other alcohol-oriented events are great ways to meet fun new people. Some events are for casual drinkers, while others are geared toward wine aficionados or those in local clubs.

Sports Class

A class in yoga, boxing, dancing or other activity is a great way to meet young, active people. You’ll get to make new friends and get in some much-needed exercise. It’s a win-win situation.

Hobby Group

Whether you’ve always wanted to learn to play guitar or improve your drawing skills, now’s the time to do it. You can find classes and groups based on your interest in arts and crafts, music, photography, writing, cooking and more. You’ll learn new skills and meet people who share your interests.

Local Events

In the summer, you’ll often find free concerts at a nearby park. These are great opportunities to meet local and enjoy music at no cost. You can also attend fairs, clubs, and events at community centers and local halls. These are fun events that allow you to get out of the house for a few hours and possibly meet people in your community.

Contests and Tournaments

Are you the competitive type? Whether you like to show off your physical talents or mental skills, you’re sure to find some sort of contest in your local area. You might decide to participate in a race, sing in a karaoke contest at a neighborhood bar or join the bookstore for a trivia contest. These opportunities allow you to test your knowledge or physical prowess while having fun with like-minded people.

Contact a New York Divorce Lawyer Today

Divorce can be stressful for all involved, but therapy isn’t the only way to cope. By staying active, you can get rid of negative thoughts and focus on a fun and exciting new life.  Get help from a Saratoga County divorce lawyer at The Colwell Law Group. We can provide you with resources to help you enjoy your new life as a single man or woman. If you’re considering divorce, contact our family law lawyers today for a confidential consultation.

Retooling or Rebooting Your Career After a Divorce

Divorce is one of those major life changes that can spark several life changes all at once. Beyond the obvious changes of becoming newly single or a single parent, many divorced people find the need to relocate to a new city or state, for example. In particular, divorce may have a profound effect on people’s career decisions, forcing them to retool or restart their careers—or possibly even begin a new career from scratch—in order to have a sustainable income and start a new life.

Of course, this is arguably the opposite and equal reaction—the impact of marriage on a spouse’s career-making significant changes in their plans or dropping out of the workforce, especially where children are involved. While many households today rely on the incomes of two working spouses, the number of stay-at-home parents has actually been on the rise in recent years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says 29 percent of marriages in 2012 included a stay-at-home mom—up 6 percentage points from 1999. The number of stay-at-home dads has risen even more remarkably, from being almost unheard of in the 1970s to approximately 1.9 million in 2014, according to HuffPost.

If you are a divorcing stay-at-home parent, the amount of alimony and child support awarded might not cover living expenses. Perhaps you ran a business with your spouse and you no longer will be a part of that business—or perhaps you just wish to launch a career as a way of restarting your life. Whatever the case, here are some insights useful in changing, rebooting or starting a career after divorce.

Re-Entering the Workforce

If you left your job when you married or had kids and now plan to resume your prior career, you may face a number of challenges, not the least of which is catching up with technology or methodologies that have changed the way your job works. To bring you back up to speed, consider the following:

  • Inquire with your former employer. If you left the company on good terms, you may find them amenable to your returning to your old job—and they might even cover costs of retraining. If you liked your former job and former company, it may be a good place to start. If they don’t have an opening for you, they may be able to refer you somewhere else—or at least provide you a good letter of reference.
  • Renew your professional license, if applicable. If you were a licensed professional (e.g., real estate agent, insurance broker) who allowed your license to expire, take steps to reinstate that license. This task may also involve completing continuing education courses that can bring you up to speed on the latest advances in your profession.
  • Update your resume. Styles, formatting, and layouts of job-winning resumes evolve over time. You might want to hire some help to get your resume updated to improve your first impressions.
  • Consider hiring a job/career coach. If you haven’t been in the job market for some time, re-entry may seem like you’ve landed on a whole other planet. A job coach can help acclimate you to everything from job searches to interview techniques to help you get back in the game.

Changing Careers or Starting a New One

As part of your new lease on life, you may desire to make a complete career change. What steps should you take if you feel this is the approach for you?

Go Back to School

If you want to go to college or trade school to prepare for a new profession, your new financial status as a divorced person may qualify you for financial aid to pay for your education—possibly even living expenses. Many schools also offer evening and weekend classes for working adults, as well as job placement assistance when you graduate.

Start a Business/Become a Freelancer

In today’s evolving “gig” economy, more and more people are making a living these days as freelancers or independent contractors doing everything from bookkeeping to driving for Uber. If you have a skill set that lends itself well to gig work, freelancing allows you to set your own hours so you can prioritize time with the kids—and in the right circumstances, you can generate full-time pay working part-time hours.

Along the same line, you might have an invention or an entrepreneurial idea you’d like to turn into a business. If so, consider taking some business classes to learn the ins and outs of launching a startup. If you are a woman, a single mom and/or a minority, you may qualify for business grants from both government and private sector donors. Do research—you may be surprised at where you can find the startup capital for a business.

Starting over after a divorce is never easy, but always remember that you have options, whether you’re resuming a career or starting a new one. Plan ahead and make use of the resources available to you, and you can navigate this life change the same way you navigate the divorce itself—one step at a time.

Returning to Work After a Divorce

Being a stay-at-home parent can be very rewarding. You get to care for your child 24/7 while avoiding the hassles and costs associated with daycare. However, your world could be turned upside down if your spouse files for divorce.

While you may receive child support and alimony in a divorce settlement, these payments are often not enough to cover all expenses. Plus, what happens if your ex-spouse decides not to pay you?

You will need a backup plan and ultimately that means returning to the workforce. Going back to work after many years of unemployment can be frightening. You may not be up to date with the necessary skills. You may not have even looked at your resume in years.

Finding a decent-paying job that offers the flexibility a single parent needs can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to help you get back to work after an absence.

Think About What You Want to Do

You don’t have to go back to your former line of work. What are your skills? What things do you like enjoy doing? Think about the types of jobs you enjoy and do some research on the skills needed. You may have to go back to school to learn some skills or get certified, but it will be worth it.

Update Your Resume

Even though you haven’t worked for quite some time, you no doubt acquired some skills as a parent. You are probably organized and able to multitask. You probably developed some great project management skills. Use these skills to your advantage. Then update your resume appropriately. Have a friend look at it and help you format it so it looks attractive to employers.

Network With Others

The best way to get a job is to let everyone know you’re looking. People tend to want to help others, so communicate with former co-workers, neighbors, friends, family members and anyone else you know. Be specific about what you’re looking for, though. If there’s a specific job you want or a company you want to work for, let people know.

Consult the Internet

When it comes to job searches, the internet is your friend. You can research resumes for jobs and search for jobs in your area. Take a look at the pay and the requirements for the jobs you’re interested in and try to find ways to bridge the gaps in terms of education and skills. You’ll get an idea of what you need to do to make yourself employable.

Contact a Greene County Divorce Lawyer Today

While getting divorced can be a huge load off your shoulders, having to go back to work after being a stay-at-home parent can be stressful. By following the tips above, you can make the return to the workforce a much smoother transition. The experienced Columbia County alimony lawyers from The Colwell Law Group can help you get back on your feet following a divorce. Contact us today.

Adjusting to a New Home After Divorce

Divorce is not an easy process. No matter how bad you want to end your marriage, adjusting to a new life after a divorce can be stressful. Even if you stay in the same home, you’ll always be reminded of the life you once had. You will no longer live in the house with your spouse and you’ll have moments without the kids. This can lead to moments of loneliness.

You will feel sadness after a divorce. You will mourn your old life, but at the same time, you’ll gain a sense of newness and rejuvenation. Whether you’re staying in the marital home or starting fresh with a new residence, here are some ways to adjust.

Adjusting to Post-Divorce Life in the Same Home

Your home once housed you, your spouse and your children full-time. If you kept the home in the divorce, you’re going to experience times when you’ll be alone—possibly for days at a time. With so much downtime, you’re likely to reflect on your old life and feel sadness, anger, regret or other negative emotions.

To feel happier, create your own space. Get rid of possessions that have negative connotations. Get rid of the photos and wedding albums and decorate your space to reflect the new you. Change the paint color. Get a new bed. If you have children, let them decorate their bedrooms in a new way so they can start anew.

Nurturing something often helps those going through a divorce. If you’re not ready for a dog or a cat quite yet, start with something low-maintenance like a fish or even a plant. Tending to a garden can help you feel productive.

Finding a Home After Divorce

If you are forced to vacate the marital home, you’re likely to feel anxious. This may be the first time you’ve been home shopping in decades. Plus, having to care for an entire home all by yourself may be overwhelming.

That’s why many people opt for an apartment after a divorce. You are the only one who will be there full-time, and you will spend a large portion of your time working and commuting. Buying a four-bedroom home will only add to your already massive burden, so don’t be afraid to downsize and rent a smaller home. You can always choose to buy once you become established.

Even if it’s just temporary, be proactive and make the apartment your own. Purge memories of your past and focus on the future with new furniture and decor that reflects you now—not the person you were when you were married.

Contact an Albany Divorce Lawyer Today

Your home life will change after a divorce. Whether you’re staying in the marital home or moving out into a new home, you’re likely to need some time to adjust. The experienced family law attorneys from The Colwell Law Group can help reduce stress after a divorce so you can create a new normal routine. Contact us today.

Maintaining and Creating New Traditions After Divorce

If you are getting divorced in Albany, New York, you are not alone. The American Psychological Association (APA) notes that somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of U.S. marriages end in divorce. Yet, going through divorce, especially if you have young children, can be intensely stressful. Even though it is something that is relatively common in our community, parents still often feel totally alone.

The good news is that you can maintain family stability through your divorce. While going through a marital separation is never easy, it does not have to be a traumatic experience for you or for your kids. You can protect the well-being of yourself and your family. Research suggests that one of the best things you can do to help your family through a divorce is to work on maintaining certain core traditions while also slowly building new traditions.

Family Traditions Are a Source of Stability

Family traditions, from the major holidays or summer vacations to weeknight dinners or unique things that only apply to your family, are far more important than many people realize. These traditions are about more than simple fun; they help to promote deep bonds among family members. Family traditions are a key, valuable source of familial stability. For both parents and children, traditions offer major psychological benefits. Unfortunately, divorce can threaten many of these traditions, thereby undermining a core sense of stability and identity for family members.

You Can Maintain Old Traditions Through Divorce

Following a divorce, your family’s traditions will not be exactly the same. The reality is that some change is simply inevitable. However, that does not mean that all traditions need to be thrown out. It is generally not a good idea to get rid of all of your old traditions. You and your family can and should maintain some of your most important traditions through the divorce. Ultimately, which traditions make sense to continue and which ones need to be adjusted will depend entirely on the specific circumstances of your family.

Divorce Presents an Opportunity to Create New Traditions

Traditions do not necessarily have to last forever. Likewise, traditions can change, sometimes in subtle ways, sometimes in dramatic ways. A divorce is not just something that your family is forced to passively accept and deal with. Instead, you and your family can work to create new traditions. Ideally, some of these new traditions will blend together with older traditions in order to help provide stability to your family while also moving your family forward to the future.

Get Family Law Help in Albany, New York

At The Colwell Law Group, LLC, our skilled divorce lawyers are proud to provide top-quality legal representation to clients throughout the Capital District of New York. If you need family law guidance, we are here for you. To learn more about what our legal team can do to help you, please do not hesitate to contact us today. We have offices in Albany and Saratoga, and we are ready to work to protect your family law rights.

There’s a Time for Everything, Even Divorce

For whatever reasons, March and August are stressful. As the hours spent mobile tend to increase, so do people’s motivations to act on previously held ideas, including divorce. At least that’s what recent research out of the University of Washington indicates. These two months far surpass any others for the number of divorce filings completed in Washington State.

Associate sociology professor Julie Brines and doctoral candidate Brian Serafini, both from the University of Washington, presented their findings at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association. Having initially sought a correlation between the recession and marital stability, the researchers examined divorces throughout Washington from 2001 to 2015. Their conclusions represented a surprising revelation: More people file for divorce at the beginning of spring and end of summer than at any other time of year. More, it seems this trend persists independent of any other factors, such as employment status or socioeconomic status.

Now, professionals and laymen alike are vying to explain why this pattern exists.

The Impact of the Holidays

The number one prevailing thought is that the summer and winter holidays present a unique set of conditions ripe for staying together temporarily, only to divorce shortly thereafter. For one, there is a greater level of anticipation during this time. People hope that a family vacation or shared traditions will erase the negative. In the short term, this may be accurate; once the elation wears off, however, people are left with the same slew of problems that existed before and the same lack of coping mechanisms. This, in turn, results in divorce.

With kids home, people out of work, financial pressures and the inevitable collision of different family interests, the holidays are a recipe for stress. Add to that the ever-increasing pressure to “be happy” and it’s no wonder people start to fall apart. Challenges that could be swept under the rug previously now take center stage like a lion in the middle of an elephant exhibit. Consequently, couples decide that being divorced is more optimum than staying together.

Surviving Thanksgiving After a Divorce

Tis the season of gratitude, but if you are going through a divorce, you may find it difficult to feel thankful. The end of a marriage never comes easy, and the holidays are a particularly tough time for divorcing families. So while you may not look back on this year as the best Thanksgiving ever, there are some simple things you can do to keep calm and carry on this holiday season.

Tips for Surviving the First Thanksgiving on Your Own

Thanksgiving and other family holidays are loaded with sentimental baggage. Consider the following tips to make it through this emotional minefield.

  • Give yourself permission to be sad. There is no need to force a fake smile and a happy-go-lucky attitude. However, do not allow yourself to wallow in self-pity and avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms.
  • Stay busy (or don’t). Some people prefer to immerse themselves in service projects, hobbies, or social gatherings to keep their minds off the sad stuff. Others feel stressed enough without additional social obligations and commitments. Do what suits you, but don’t neglect your self-care.
  • Talk it out with a non-judgmental friend, family member, or mental health professional. Important: Do not use your child as a therapist, even if s/he is an adult. This puts them in a painful and awkward position.
  • Do what you love. Travel, start a new tradition or pick up an old pastime. The best way to forget about the bad times is to create new, happy memories.

Co-Parenting on Thanksgiving

If you are recently separated or divorced, this Thanksgiving may be your first holiday away from the kids. Whatever the arrangement, co-parenting during the holidays is stressful for the entire family, including the children. Here are ways to make the transition as smooth as possible:

  • Never badmouth your ex in front of the children. No matter how true your words are, speaking poorly of your child’s other parent is bad for your child’s psyche and could be considered parental alienation.
  • Tell your children what you are thankful for. Even if you aren’t in the mood for Thanksgiving, taking a moment to recognize your good fortunes can give you and the kids a whole new perspective.
  • Consider celebrating Thanksgiving together. If you and your ex are amicable, inviting him or her to Thanksgiving dinner lets your kids know you will always be a family.
  • If you can’t be with your children on Thanksgiving, find another way to make the holiday special for them. This might mean scheduling your big meal for the day before or after Thanksgiving so they can attend, or packing a “Thanksgiving surprise” in their suitcase.

Remember that while you can expect this holiday season to be challenging, it will get easier.

Divorce and Family Law Attorneys in Albany, New York

A rocky marriage will often reach its tipping point around the holidays. If you are considering divorce, reach out to a family law attorney as soon as possible. The experienced Albany child custody lawyers at the Colwell Law Group, LLC can help. Contact our office in Albany, NY to schedule a consultation.

Dealing With a Divorce During Christmastime

When a marriage has reached its bitter end, some couples try to make it through the holidays “for the sake of the children.” Others, however, decide that they can’t live together anymore and decide to divorce right before the holidays. It can be devastating to have a family split up during Christmas, which is undeniably a time for families to spend time together.

Children may find the holidays a little less joyful when they’re having to divide time between parents. They may be nervous and unsure about what to expect. Will they still be able to celebrate Christmas as usual? Perhaps you as a parent will create fun traditions and new memories for the children.

The holidays are stressful enough even for couples who are happily married. If you’re currently going through a divorce with kids, here are some ways to make the holidays merry and bright even with the family unit splitting up.

Make a Plan

Children thrive on routine, and they will likely want to know their Christmas schedule as early as November. Work with the other parent to create a doable plan for Christmastime. For example, you may want the kids on Christmas Eve and the other parent can have the kids on Christmas Day. Maybe the kids can spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with one parent and spend the weekend with the other parent. You may even go as far as to spend Christmas together as a family, but only if you can do so without negativity. It’s best to not stress out the kids at this special time of the year.

Start New Traditions

Life is changing for the entire family. Along with a new life, you should start new holiday traditions with the kids. For example, maybe your Christmas Eve plans will include a pizza dinner followed by the opening of presents. Perhaps you and the kids will go see a movie on Christmas Day. Ask the kids for their input and find a fun new way to spend the holidays together. Then do the same thing every year as an annual event.

Stay Busy

Having too much downtime during the holidays can cause you to dwell upon your divorce, which can, in turn, make you depressed. On the days that you don’t have your kids, keep yourself occupied by spending time with friends and family. Grab lunch and catch up with an old friend. Go Christmas shopping with parents and siblings. Attend holiday parties and look for local holiday events. You’ll feel better physically and emotionally.

Learn More About Divorce During the Holidays from the Help of an Albany Divorce Attorney

There is never a good time to divorce, but it can be extremely stressful if you do it during the holidays and have kids involved. Getting through the holidays is not impossible, however. You can still find ways to cope and still make Christmas special despite the situation. Get help today from an experienced Albany divorce attorney from The Colwell Law Group. Contact us today.

Starting the New Year With a Divorce

While we all hope for our marriages to last a lifetime, it doesn’t always end up that way. Adultery, abuse, addictions and irreconcilable differences can all cause a marriage to fall apart and have the couples seeking help from divorce lawyers.

But when should you divorce? Should you do it right before the holidays so you don’t have to spend another dreaded Thanksgiving with the in-laws? Or should you grin and bear it and wait until the stress of Christmas has passed?

Let’s face it: holidays are stressful. Decorating, cooking, buying gifts, entertaining family members and dealing with work events can all be too much. Going through a divorce at the same time can be utterly overwhelming.

That’s why many people wait until January. The holidays are over, so the stress had decreased and emotions are not running high. Plus it allows the opportunity for a new start—a new year and a new life. If you’re ready to end your marriage, here’s why getting through the holidays and waiting until January is a good idea.

Why Divorce in January?

People want to start the new year feeling good about themselves. They may want to start healthy habits such as exercise more and eat better. They may want to explore ways to be happier. As a result, they are likely to get rid of anything making them unhappy—including spouses. So when many people think of New Year’s resolutions, divorce may come to mind.

When it comes to marital strife, people eventually reach their limits. If a person has been unhappy in their marriage for quite some time, they may decide that come January 1, they will make the appropriate changes to let go of the continued unhappiness and make a drastic change that will improve their life and increase happiness. 

Waiting until January also gives you time to plan and save up more money. You can spend the couple extra months gathering all the required documents for your lawyer. You can also wait for your holiday bonus or take on another job to save up money for lawyer’s fees. A divorce can cost tens of thousands of dollars, so it’s good to have some money saved up.

Another good reason to wait until January to file the divorce papers is because of the possibility of revenge. A person whose spouse is filing for divorce during the holidays will understandably be upset over the situation. After all, a divorce is a sure-fire way to drive someone over the edge during the holiday stress. He or she may seek revenge by racking up debt on credit cards and buying high-ticket items because he or she deserves it for having to deal with a divorce during the holidays.

Start the New Year Off Right and Contact a New York Divorce Attorney Today

A new year can be the perfect time to start a new life. If your New Year’s resolution is to end your marriage and start anew,  get ready to start the divorce proceedings. The experienced family law attorneys from The Colwell Law Group can help you get the fresh start you desperately need. Contact us today.

How Soon Is Too Soon to Start Dating Again?

You just finalized your divorce and your friends are already starting to hook you up with potential dates. You’re hesitant to date because it’s so soon. You just got out of a long-term marriage. Isn’t there a specific period of time you should wait before seeking out another relationship?

You can ask a dozen people how long you should wait to start dating again after divorce. Some may say to wait two years. Others may think one year is enough. Six months may be the standard for some people. You may come across people who may think it is perfectly acceptable to start dating again as soon as possible.

Some experts believe in the two-year rule: two years from the date you receive your divorce decree. To be sure, for some people, this amount of time allows the opportunity to heal, engage in self-discovery and find out what they really want in a relationship.

While you do need to allow yourself some time to heal after a divorce, two years may seem like a long time. Or maybe it’s been three years and you’re still not sure if you’re ready to dive into the dating scene. How will you know? Here are some ways to tell.

Are You Ready?

First of all, you need to be ready to meet new people before you venture out into the dating world. After a divorce, you may just want to be alone with your thoughts for a while, and that’s perfectly fine. Don’t force yourself to meet new people. You’ll know when you’re ready.

Are you at a point where you’re neutral about your ex? Do you still love them, or do you harbor anger? If so, you may not be ready to move on yet. You need to make sure you are done grieving. Otherwise, a new relationship is only going to serve as a temporary distraction.

Have you taken some time to decide what you want and don’t want in a relationship? Find out what qualities you desire and which ones are deal breakers. But at the same time, don’t limit yourself. Sometimes love doesn’t come to you in a perfect package.

Men and women deal with their emotions differently. In some cases, men may move on sooner than women. Also, the person who leaves the marriage may be the one who moves on quicker because they have had time to “grieve” during the marriage, whereas the divorce may have come as a shock to the other party. Grief has its own timing and there is no clear-cut answer as to when a person should move on.

Contact an Albany Family Law Lawyer Today

Starting a new life after being married for many years can be daunting, especially when it comes to getting back out into the dating scene. Fortunately, an Albany divorce lawyer from The Colwell Law Group can help you with the process. We can help you with all the aspects related to your divorce and beyond. If you’re considering a divorce in New York, contact us today to get started on your new journey.